KINGS of AXUM. Ezanas. Circa 300-350 AD. AE15mm. Struck after his conversion to Christianity in 330 AD. BACI LEYC, draped bust right in headcloth / +TOV TO APECH TH XWPA (May This [the cross] Please the Country), small cross in circle. Munro-Hay 52; BMC Aksum 90.This week, another coin from the fascinating kingdom of Axum (Aksum). This time a small bronze from late in the history of the kingdom, just after the the king Ezana (Ezanas) converted to Christianity. Axum was among the first kingdoms to covert to Christianity and to publicly display its allegiance to the faith on coinage. Ezana is among the best-attested kings of Axum, largely due to his religious conversion, which was the result of the teachings of his Syrian tutor, Frumentius. Ezana was also in contact with the Roman Emperor Constantius II, who requested that Ezana prove that this Christianity was Orthodox by Roman standards. Ezana ignored these requests and established his own, independent church, the origin of the modern Ethiopian Orthodox Church (now in communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church). Today Ezana is a Saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Ezana was a powerful and influential king. His coins have been found as far away as India, proving that Axum in this period continued to be a powerful trading kingdom. Ezana was also a military commander who led campaigns into Meroe. Ezana’s coins have an interesting, unique feature, in that some, like this one, bear a legend on the reverse: “May this please the country.” While this cataloguer believes this legend refers to the cross, and, by implication, Christianity, scholars believe that Ezana hoped that the coinage would be met with approval, possible following upon economic difficulties. Whatever it refers to Ezana seems to have been concerned for the approval of his people.